Chiquita Brands International has reduced its water usage by more than 1.7 billion liters per year.
Chiquita made the announcement on World Water Day March 22. The company has committed to only use irrigation where it is strictly necessary and has eliminated use of wasteful overhead irrigation.
And as part of its farm rejuvenation program, Chiquita is investing in mini and micro irrigation, which currently covers 6.5% of its irrigated land, and uses live ground cover and mulches that reduce evaporation to ensure that the greatest efficiency possible for water abstraction.
The company also utilizes “greenwater” at its Costa Rica and Panama farms, which consists of rainfall rather than treated “blue” water.
Chiquita is also working to reduce the 2% of water used during processing. The company is currently installing water recycling systems and introducing “dry de-handling,” which allows bananas to be separated from the main stalk without using water.
In addition, water recycling systems have been installed in 26% of Chiquita’s packing stations.